Diabetic testing supplies can be extremely expensive, but many people with diabetes receive diabetic test strips for glucose meters for free or at a low cost thanks to Medicare, Medicaid, or some private insurance companies. Some of these folks have taken to selling their extra test strips for extra cash, to companies who can then resell these test strips at a cheaper price to underinsured or uninsured people. This system generally benefits those involved. However, as more and more companies crop up in this unregulated market, problems can arise.
It is illegal to sell expired diabetic test strips, but there are no regulations on resellers to ensure proper handling of these sensitive materials. If test strips are handled improperly or stored at the wrong temperature, they can become defective and provide inaccurate readings. Inaccurate readings can lead to people taking incorrect insulin doses, which can be a critical health issue. Additionally, some companies ignore expiration dates all together, or try and hock counterfeit products. This can be very dangerous!
If you are planning on selling or buying diabetic test strips via a third party, there are some precautions you can take. Research the company with whom you plan to do the exchange — test strip resellers should be registered with the FDA, and many have ratings with the Better Business Bureau. Make sure you are only buying or selling sealed, never opened, unexpired test strips. Lastly if you are buying test strips from a reseller, make sure you use a glucose meter that is compatible with the test strips to ensure accurate readings.
No matter your situation, if you are planning on diving into the unregulated market of reselling diabetic test strips, make sure that you are working with a company you can trust. For more information, visit our guide